Bound Lots pose is arguably the most difficult pose in Kundalini yoga, but the benefits are great. The Sanskrit name for the pose is Baddha Padmasana, (pronounced BAHD-ah pad-MUH-sah-NAH) and is a combination of three words:
Baddha=bound or restrained
As the name suggests, it is a modification of the classic Full Lotus pose most people picture when they think of yoga.
As with all difficult poses in any form of yoga, it isn’t the destination, but the journey. You might never be able to do the pose perfectly, but surrendering to it, trying one’s best, and holding the pose even when mind and body are trying to convince you to stop is all part of the process.
The pose helps with flexible knees, ankles, and hips, gives a stronger spine, opens up the pelvis and massages the abdominal organs. It is also said to be a fast way to burn off bad karma.
How to do the pose
Getting into Bound Lotus is best done in three stages, sitting, arranging the arms, and arranging the body.
Start in Full Lotus, legs crossed, with the tops of the feet resting on the opposite thighs. In this case, aim to get the feet high up the thighs if at all possible, resting the tops of the feet in the creases formed by the upper thighs and abdomen if at all possible.
Once you are sitting as comfortably as you can, raise your arms up over your head and bring them down to chest level, palms facing upwards. Keep the left arms straight and wrap it around your back, trying to reach your fingers to the big toe on your left foot, which is resting on top of your right thigh. Next, wrap the right arm behind your back to grip the right big toe, currently on resting on the left thigh. Grip it between thumb and index finger if possible. If you can’t get anywhere near your toes, grip your elbows.
Once you have your arms and legs in position, keep your spine tall and lean forward until your forehead touches the mat.
How long should you do the pose?
The ideal is 31 minutes, but any time you can manage is worth the effort.
Cushions under the knees and forehead will help keep things comfortable as you sit.
Hints: Place a bottle of water and a shawl nearby. Feel free to come in and out of the pose as needed. Set an alarm for 31 minutes. Try to relax and surrender.